The Telegraph
Friday , May 30 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Don of Dalma back with gang
- Temperamental tusker spotted munching jackfruit

He is the original Don. And he is back in his domain.

After an extended stay in the neighbouring forests of West Midnapore and Bankura in Bengal, the 48-year-old loner, along with a herd of dozen elephants, returned to his Dalma home on Wednesday night after almost 10 months.

Don was spotted near the Shiva temple on Wednesday night, munching on jackfruit.

He later moved near Pinderbera guesthouse and then to the core area of the sanctuary.

A permanent resident of Dalma Wildlife Sanctuary, the tusker had both villagers and forest officials on their toes with his terror tactics. The loner is known to tease tourist vehicles, attack homes and chase elephant calves.

In the past, the rogue elephant posed a serious threat to tourists who frequent the picturesque 192sqkm sanctuary from different parts of Jharkhand as well as neighbouring Bengal. Attacking a family in their car near a waterfall at Rajdoha village, he forced the people to abandon the vehicle and run for cover.

“Soon, all elephants will return and the sanctuary will boast its full strength again. This time, jumbos overstayed in the jungles of West Midnapore and Bankura. Of the total 156 elephants, only about 27 have returned, while others are on their way,” said Dalma guard Kaleshwar Bhagat.

Elephants return to Dalma by February-end or first week of March. This time, abundance of water and fodder held up them up in Bengal jungles.

They follow two corridors — one via Jhunjka and the other from Burudih. Of the two return routes, the one via Jhunjka leads to Nutandih, while the second passes through Narsingpur in Ghatshila range, Suklara and Aamdapahari. Both the corridors merge at Mirjadih from where the elephants cross Haludbani, Bhadodih, Bota and Dimna to finally reach Dalma.

There is plenty of food and water at Dalma. “The 90-odd watering holes and 12 check dams are overflowing,” a forester said.